The Complete Guide to Lab-Grown Diamonds

If you’re in the market for a diamond ring, you may have seen options for lab-grown diamonds. You may have presumed that meant fake or lower quality, but this isn’t the case at all.

Lab-grown diamonds are a great, lower-cost alternative to natural mined diamonds, but what are lab-created diamonds, and should you choose one for your jewellery?

Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are identical to real diamonds. They look the same, feel the same and have the same chemical properties as naturally formed diamonds. The only real difference? Lab-grown diamonds are created in, well, a lab. This happens under completely controlled conditions. Naturally mined diamonds are created in the uncontrolled environment under the earth’s crust. Both are identical, and even the most well trained diamond experts struggle to tell the difference between the two types of diamonds.

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

All lab-grown diamonds start with a ‘diamond seed’. This seed is coated in pure carbon (which is what natural diamonds are made from) and placed into a special chamber which recreates the conditions inside the Earth’s crust. One of two things then happens: HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) – This is where the seed is subjected to incredibly high temperatures of around 1,500°C and pressures of around 1.5 million pounds per square inch, replicating what happens in nature over billions of years in a matter of weeks. CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) – This method uses significantly less heat and pressure, instead relying on a mix of chemicals that break down carbon atoms and force them to crystalise into a diamond. The result? A perfectly formed diamond that doesn’t take billions of years to mature – nice!

What are the benefits of lab-grown diamonds?

The main benefit to you, the consumer, is that lab-grown diamonds are roughly 30% cheaper than naturally mined diamonds.

This is because they take less resources to produce and a whole host of other reasons that we won’t get into right now; the most important thing is that they’re cheaper!
Lab-grown diamonds can be treated in exactly the same way as natural diamonds. The most important thing is that they’re cut properly. A poorly cut diamond will look terrible, no matter its quality.

Diamonds Jewellery Quarter tailored designs at Mitchel & Co
Jewellers Jewellery Quarter limited edition signature collection at Mitchel & Co

Lab-grown diamond jewellery from Mitchel & Co

At Mitchel & Co, we stock both natural and lab-grown diamonds, so if you want to see just how similar the two are, swing by our shop in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and have a look for yourself!

Our diamond specialists are available to answer any questions you may have, and to best advise you on whether lab-grown diamonds are for you. Give us a shout or visit us in store!

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